Wellington, Florida – Friday, January 31, 2020 – The Derby field at Equestrian Village (home to the Adequan® Global Dressage Festival) wrapped up its third day of action in week four with the $73,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m Classic CSI 4*. It was Swiss rider Martin Fuchs (SUI)– ranked number-one in the world and the 2019 victor of the same class – who commanded both first and second place in the class. He claimed the winner’s rug riding Willow Grace Farm’s eye-catching gray 11-year-old grey Oldenburg gelding Silver Shine (Califax x Balou du Rouet) and took second on the 12-year-old Stakkatol gelding Stalando 2 (Stakkatol x Lando), picking up prize-money of more than $38,000 in the process.
Ten of the 40 starters qualified for the jump-off, with four of those also going clear in the second round over Brazilian course designer Anderson Lima’s (BRA) track on the immaculate palm tree-lined grass Derby field. Fuchs and Silver Shine’s time of 46.74 seconds proved unassailable, while he clocked 47.06 seconds on Stalando. Sam Walker (CAN) finished third on Coralissa (Con Air x Corrado I) in 48.45 seconds, while fourth-placed Jose Antonio Chedraui Prom (MEX) recorded the only other double clear, in 54.33 seconds, riding Aymara Des Bergeries (Canturo x Cavalier Royale).
Fuchs, who is at WEF for the whole season before returning to his base near Zurich in Switzerland, said, “I had a good plan for this week. My grand prix horse Silver Shine only did the first day, then I didn’t do the WEF qualifier yesterday on him and I did this class today so that he gets two more rounds before the grand prix [on Saturday]. He jumped fantastically in both rounds today, and Stalando did too.”
Of Silver Shine, who he has been riding for a year, Fuchs added, “He’s a sensitive, insecure horse, and I always have to give him a lot of confidence. He can be a bit shy and spooky, but he’s very careful and always tries. He has a lot of ability and can jump all the big fences. He was good in Aachen, in Spruce and in Barcelona; he really likes the big rings.”
The Derby field at Equestrian Village is no exception, and 27-year-old Fuchs relished the chance to perform in this arena too. “I already jumped two classes on this field this week, and I really like riding in it,” added Fuchs, who is visiting WEF for the fourth time, but only the second as a competitor. “The footing is perfect and the warm-up is insane – huge, with perfect footing – the best I’ve ever been on. You barely needs studs; it’s fantastic, and it’s my favorite place to ride here in WEF.”
Martin Fuchs (SUI) & Silver Shine in their winning presentation with Vice President of Development Tim Luby of CaptiveOne Advisors and ringmaster Steve Rector.
Second-placed horse Stalando, owned by Polishman Gospodarstwo Rolne Andrzej Oplatek, is a relatively new ride for Fuchs, and this was only their third show together. Fuchs aims to contest some of the four-star grand prix and five-star qualifiers this season, although the horse may be destined to be sold before the season is out.
WEF continues through March 29, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, Florida, with 12 consecutive weeks of world-class competition and $13 million dollars on offer. The fourth week of competition at WEF, sponsored by Marshall & Sterling Insurance/Great American Insurance Group and recognized as a CSI 4* by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), runs January 29 through February 2. Highlights include the $214,000 Marshall & Sterling Insurance/Great American Insurance Group Grand Prix CSI4* at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Equestrian Village. The Great Charity Challenge, presented by Fidelity Investments® will take place during “Saturday Night Lights” at 7 p.m. in the International Arena.
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Source: Press release by Alice Collins / Jennifer Wood Media, Inc. for ESP – Equestrian Sports Productions / PBIEC – Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
Photos: © Sportfot